Tranmere Rovers v Manchester United: Micky Mellon plays down pitch concerns

Sections of the Prenton Park surface cut up during Tranmere’s FA Cup third-round replay win against Watford
FA Cup fourth round
When: 24-27 January
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Tranmere boss Micky Mellon has played down concerns about the Prenton Park pitch before his side’s FA Cup tie against Manchester United on Sunday.

Red Devils boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer said he has prepared his players for “divots” in the playing surface.

“Let’s get it straight, we’re not talking about a ploughed field here,” Mellon told BBC Radio 5 Live.

“It will be all right. It’s just got a lot of sand – more than normal – on it.”

The League One side beat Watford on Thursday to set up a fourth-round meeting with United.

The replay was originally due to take place on 14 January but was postponed because of a waterlogged pitch at Prenton Park.

In December, Chelsea Women manager Emma Hayes apologised for branding the pitch the worst in Women’s Super League after a match against Liverpool Women took place after heavy rainfall.

“The Liverpool Women’s game against Chelsea Women shouldn’t have gone ahead, and that’s probably the game that’s put it in the condition it is now,” added Mellon.

“It’s never really recovered from that because of the damage that was done in that game, as grass doesn’t grow in winter.”

Speaking about Sunday’s tie, United manager Solskjaer said: “The pitch is not great but that’s the same for both of us and the players just have to be focused.

“Everyone’s got to be focused with the bounce of the ball.”

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